October 24th, 2012
01:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Trump's new charity drive

(CNN) - In a much-hyped announcement, real estate mogul and reality television star Donald Trump pulled yet another flashy move on Wednesday offering a monetary incentive in exchange for private information from President Barack Obama's past.

Trump, in a stunt designed to draw media attention and set afire the conservative blogosphere, said he would donate $5 million to charity if the president released his college records and passport applications.

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"I have a deal for the president, a deal that I don't believe he can refuse, and I hope he doesn't. If Barack Obama opens up and gives his college records and applications and if he gives his passport applications and records, I will give to a charity of his choice - inner city children in Chicago, American Cancer Society, AIDS research, anything he wants–a check immediately for $5 million," Trump said.

He added that the check will be written "within one hour" of the documents' release and set a deadline of 5 p.m. on October 31, one week before Election Day…and also right as children are heading out the door to begin trick or treating on Halloween.

"Frankly it's a check that I very much want to write," he said. "I absolutely would be the most happy of all if I did in fact make this contribution through the president to the charities."

Photos: Donald Trump's empire

In an interview set to air Wednesday night on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," Trump argued his offer wasn't a publicity stunt and further challenged the president.

"If there's nothing wrong with his applications – if everything's fine, why wouldn't he do it to pick up $5 million for a charity?" Trump asked. "I think that would be outrageous, personally."

This isn't the first time Trump has called for Obama to make public such records. The conservative, who flirted with a presidential bid last year, has long been at the steering wheel for the so-called birther movement, questioning the president's place of birth.

Last year, Obama released his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii to quell speculation that he was not a U.S. citizen and may be constitutionally ineligible to serve as president. He has previously released a certification of live birth during the 2008 campaign. Both documents show that he was born in a Hawaii hospital on August 4, 1961. Contemporaneously published newspaper announcements also noted the birth in the Aloha State.

In his announcement, Trump took credit for last year's release of the certificate.

"I am very honored to have gotten him to release his long form birth certificate, or whatever it may be," he said.

Trump has said before he wants to see Obama's college records, saying the documents contain students' place of birth.

"I'd like to see what he said. It would be very interesting. I don't care what his marks were. I don't care if he had good marks, I'd just like to see 'place of birth'," Trump said in June at the North Carolina state Republican convention.

Asked about Trump's announcement, David Plouffe, a senior adviser to the president, told reporters on a campaign bus to "direct those questions to Boston because Donald Trump is Mitt Romney's biggest supporter so he owns everything he says."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer held Trump to account on "The Situation Room" in a May interview, as Trump continued to maintain that "a lot of people do not think" the live-birth certificate was "authentic" a year after the document was released. Trump also declined to offer names of experts in agreement with him.

The millionaire maintained in the interview that Obama's birthplace is a matter of opinion, rather than fact.

"Everybody's entitled to your opinion," he said. "You know my opinion and you know his opinion and that's fine. We're entitled – as he said yesterday in the airplane – we're all entitled to our opinions and he's entitled to have his opinion. I don't happen to share that opinion, it's wonderful."

Confronted with 1961 newspaper announcements of Obama's birth, Trump accused Blitzer of defending Obama. Trump then alleged that the practice of filing U.S. birth announcements for an overseas birth was commonplace and done for "the benefits of being so-called born in this country," though he offered no evidence.

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Filed under: 2012 • Birthers • Donald Trump • President Obama
soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. Dave

    He is so setting himself up to be scammed. Harvard, the colleges he's attended in general, and the states in which those colleges reside are a bastion of liberal people who would love nothing more than to be part of the effort to help Donald part with 5mil. And that it went to Charity would be an even bigger bonus. You can fake just about anything, certainly school records.

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. PATTY

    Perhaps Mr. Trump could just write the check to a charity of his own choice and leave the rest of America alone.

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Kristen

    How about he offers the same for Mitt to release all his tax records also?

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Jeff Cox

    Is it God's will that Trump wear that ridiculous toupee?

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. Cheryl

    Donald Trump wouldn't know a charity if it bit him on the ...face.

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Robin Smith

    $5,000,000.00. Oops.

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Mr. Moderate

    So all is money and supposed power and he still can't come up with anything on his own. Unfortunately its fools like him that will be empowered with every vote for a Republican. I can't believe this is what has become of this party.

    That sound you hear is Ronald Reagan weeping.......

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Sherry

    seriously? Trump, your 15 minutes of fame were over a long time ago...shut up!

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Joe, San Diego

    Trump is a Honey Boo Boo Chil trying to remain relevant in the news

    October 24, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Objectively Moderate

    I wish Donald Trump was from Kenya so we could deport him. How can anyone take him seriously?

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. ellen abrams

    This is one of the most stupid remarks I have ever read. Is Donald Trump really that hungry for publicity?

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. xenexprime

    When will Romney release his full tax returns that even his party has said he should release? and no we haven;t had those as some republicans in denial are claiming, so will Trump offer 5 million for that too? How about we ask the Romney family to release the reason why not one of their 5 SONS never served the military? where they told by their father it is not worth it? or perhaps they think they are too privileged and important to do so? I mean we can do on and on if we are going to be asking personal questions.

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. RK

    What an idiot

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |

    how about this...when MITT releases his tax records...obama can release his college transcripts...

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Pinche

    Cookoo cookoo ...

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Luar

    Get a life guy.

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. brobin

    Trump should marry Ann Coulter... They would make a great couple.

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. mike

    Thre fact that Piers Morgan is giving this idiot the time of day to spout his venom is disgraceful to CNN. CNN should be ashamed!!!!

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. DB

    Donald, please just go away...

    October 24, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Eric

    Donald Trump loves proving that money does not equal intelligence.

    October 24, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Eagle1903

    How did the GOP turn into party of 'Crazies'!!! The state of the GOP is very sad for our democracy..

    October 24, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  22. Eric

    Isn't that a "little bit" like extortion of the President? Just asking...

    October 24, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. ShingoEX

    How about a better deal: Proof of birth in exchange for Romney's tax records when he was with Bain.

    October 24, 2012 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  24. works for me

    Psssttt... Hey "the Don" or whatever you call yourself these days. I'll bet more of us want to see Romney's tax records for the eight years he hasn't produced. Why do we only get to see the polished last two years. Is this the time he started figuring he'd better clean up his records before the nomination? His podium pad Dad, who set the precedence, showed ten years of his. Why don't you offer this to Romney?
    Never mind. You don't have to answer that. We all know why...
    I really wonder what's in those he's so afraid of? Oh yea... "You people have seen enough" ... Ann Romney

    October 24, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Are you serious?

    I think Trump has finally jumped the shark.

    October 24, 2012 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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